The Orange County District Attorney’s office today arrested and charged a Mission Viejo woman with defrauding her employer, the Orange County Social Services Agency, out of $150,000.
Fereshteh Shafiee, 52, of Mission Viejo, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.
Meanwhile, investigators are still searching for two others allegedly involved, Shafiee’s mother, Iran Shafiee, 72, of Mission Viejo and Nahid Bijaripour Vakilian, 55, of Lake Forest, who also worked for the Social Services Agency, according to a press release from the D.A.’s office.
Vakilian was a supervisor for the In-Home Support Servicesprogram, which helps residents who are unable to live at home safely without help.
In addition to working full time for the agency, Shafiee represented herself to Vakilian as a full-time caregiver for her parents, even though they had no medical conditions requiring care, according to the D.A.
Over the course of several months, Shafiee is accused of billing for 509 hours of care a month. This was in addition to the 173 hours spent at her job at the Social Services Agency.
“In a month with a total of 720 hours, Fereshteh Shafiee is accused of claiming to work 682 hours,” says the press release.
Vakilian was fully aware that Shafiee’s claimed hours were fraudulent, but she approved them anyway. Then Shafiee turned around and lent Vakilian $150,000, according to the D.A.
Shafiee is charged with one felony count each of misappropriation of public funds and medical insurance fraud with sentencing enhancements and allegations for over $100,00 in loss, property loss over $65,000, and aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, the D.A. reports.
If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison, according to the press release.
Shafiee’s mother and Vakilian both have warrants out for their arrest. Vakilian, facing the exact same charges as her Social Services colleague, is believed to be in Iran, according to the D.A.’s office.